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Polygala paucifolia

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Plant types and subtypes: Perennials

Light Requirements: part-shade, shade

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: moist

Soil Description: acid, rich

Height: 4"-6"

Bloom Time: May, June

Bloom Color: purple, pink

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Additional Tags: colonizing, shade garden plant, woodland plant

Flower of Polygala paucifolia (gaywings)
  • Flower of Polygala paucifolia (gaywings)
  • Flower of Polygala paucifolia (gaywings)
  • Flower of Polygala paucifolia (gaywings)
  • Flower of Polygala paucifolia (gaywings)

Pricing & Availability

Description

Polygala paucifolia

Also known as:

gaywings

,

fringed polygala

Scientific Synonyms:

Description

Polygala paucifolia is a delicate and very beautiful plant. Its oval leaves crowd near the tops of its prostrate stems. The peculiar, orchid-like flowers are about an inch in size and bright rose-purple. Two sepals stick out like wings from the base of a cigar-shaped tube that has a lovely fringe in front. The overall effect is that of a butterfly or a cartoonish airplane.

Cultivation

A woodland native, the gaywing enjoys light shade to full shade, moist, organic soil, rich with acid leaf mold, such as found around hemlocks, rhododendrons, pines, or oaks. It will colonize under ideal conditions. Blooms in May and June. Zones 3-7

Propagation

Propagate by careful division of root stalk.

Additional Notes

the Milkwort family gets its name from the belief that if the plants where fed to nursing mothers or live-stock, this would increase milk production.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
CT, DE, GA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Rosidae
Order Polygalales
Family Polygalaceae Milkwort family
Genus Polygala polygala
Species Polygala paucifolia gaywings